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ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

Standard Guide for

Selection and Calibration of Dosimetry Systems for
Radiation Processing1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation ISO/ASTM 51261; the number immediately following the designation indicates the
year of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision.

1. Scope E 1026 Practice for Using the Fricke Reference Standard

1.1 This guide covers the basis for selecting and calibrating Dosimetry System2
dosimetry systems used to measure absorbed dose in gamma- 2.2 ISO/ASTM Standards:
ray or X-ray fields and in electron beams used for radiation 51204 Practice for Dosimetry in Gamma Irradiation Facili-
processing. It discusses the types of dosimetry systems that ties for Food Processing2
may be employed during calibration or on a routine basis as 51205 Practice for Use of a Ceric-Cerous Sulfate Dosimetry
part of quality assurance in commercial radiation processing of System2
products. This guide also discusses interpretation of absorbed 51275 Practice for Use of a Radiochromic Film Dosimetry
dose and briefly outlines measurements of the uncertainties System2
associated with the dosimetry. The details of the calibration of 51276 Practice for Use of a Polymethylmethacrylate Do-
the analytical instrumentation are addressed in individual simetry System2
dosimetry system standard practices. 51310 Practice for Use of a Radiochromic Optical
1.2 The absorbed-dose range covered is up to 1 MGy (100 Waveguide Dosimetry System2
Mrad). Source energies covered are from 0.1 to 50 MeV 51400 Practice for Characterization and Performance of a
photons and electrons. High-Dose Radiation Dosimetry Calibration Laboratory2
1.3 This guide should be used along with standard practices 51401 Practice for Use of a Dichromate Dosimetry System2
and guides for specific dosimetry systems and applications 51431 Practice for Dosimetry in Electron and Bremsstrahl-
covered in other standards. ung Irradiation Facilities for Food Processing2
1.4 Dosimetry for radiation processing with neutrons or 51538 Practice for Use of the Ethanol-Chlorobenzene Do-
heavy charged particles is not covered in this guide. simetry System2
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the 51540 Practice for Use of a Radiochromic Liquid Dosim-
safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the etry System2
responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appro- 51607 Practice for Use of the Alanine-EPR Dosimetry
priate safety and health practices and determine the applica- System2
bility of regulatory limitations prior to use. 51631 Practice for Use of Calorimetric Dosimetry Systems
for Electron Beam Dose Measurements and Dosimeter
2. Referenced Documents Calibrations2
2.1 ASTM Standards: 51649 Practice for Dosimetry in an Electron Beam Facility
E 170 Terminology Relating to Radiation Measurements for Radiation Processing at Energies between 300 keV and
and Dosimetry2 25 MeV2
E 178 Practice for Dealing with Outlying Observations3 51650 Practice for Use of Cellulose Acetate Dosimetry
E 456 Terminology Relating to Quality and Statistics3 Systems2
E 666 Practice for Calculating Absorbed Dose from Gamma 51702 Practice for Dosimetry in a Gamma Irradiation Fa-
or X Radiation2 cility for Radiation Processing2
E 668 Practice for Application of Thermoluminescence- 51707 Guide for Estimating Uncertainties in Dosimetry2
Dosimetry (TLD) Systems for Determining Absorbed Dose 51956 Practice for the Use of Thermoluminescence-
In Radiation-Hardness Testing of Electronic Devices2 Dosimetry (TLD) Systems for Radiation Processing2
2.3 International Commission on Radiation Units and
Measurements Reports:
This guide is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee E10 on Nuclear ICRU Report 14 Radiation Dosimetry: X-rays and Gamma
Technology and Applications and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee rays with Maximum Photon Energies Between 0.6 and 50
E10.01 on Dosimetry for Radiation Processing, and is also under the jurisdiction of MeV4
ISO/TC 85/WG 3.
Current edition approved Jan. 22, 2002. Published March 15, 2002. Originally ICRU Report 17 Radiation Dosimetry: X-rays Generated at
published as ASTM E 1261 – 88. Last previous ASTM edition E 1261 – 00. ASTM Potentials of 5 to 150 kV4
E 1261 – 94e1 was adopted by ISO in 1998 with the intermediate designation ISO
15556:1998(E). The present International Standard ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E) is a
revision of ISO 15556.
2 4
Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 12.02. Available from International Commission on Radiation Units and Measure-
Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 14.02. ments, 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 800, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 1

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

ICRU Report 34 The Dosimetry of Pulsed Radiation4 by means of an unbroken chain of comparisons that a mea-
ICRU Report 35 Radiation Dosimetry: Electron Beams surement is in agreement within acceptable limits of uncer-
with Energies between 1 and 50 MeV4 tainty with comparable nationally or internationally recognized
ICRU Report 37 Stopping Powers for Electrons and standards.
Positrons4 3.1.11 primary–standard dosimeter—dosimeter, of the
ICRU Report 60 Radiation Quantities and Units4 highest metrological quality, established and maintained as an
absorbed dose standard by a national or international standards
3. Terminology
3.1 Definitions: 3.1.12 process load—a volume of material with a specified
3.1.1 accredited dosimetry calibration laboratory—a labo- loading configuration irradiated as a single entity.
ratory that meets specific performance criteria and has been
3.1.13 quality assurance—all systematic actions necessary
tested and approved by a recognized accrediting organization.
to provide adequate confidence that a calibration, measure-
3.1.2 calibration curve—graphical representation of the
ment, or process is performed to a predefined level of quality.
dosimetry system’s response function.
3.1.3 calibration facility—combination of an ionizing radia- 3.1.14 reference–standard dosimeter—dosimeter of high
tion source and its associated instrumentation that provides a metrological quality used as a standard to provide measure-
uniform and reproducible absorbed dose, or absorbed dose rate, ments traceable to, and consistent with, measurements made
traceable to national or international standards at a specified using primary–standard dosimeters.
location and within a specific material, and that may be used to 3.1.15 response function—mathematical representation of
derive the dosimetry system’s response function or calibration the relationship between dosimeter response and absorbed dose
curve. for a given dosimetry system.
3.1.4 charged particle equilibrium—the condition that ex- 3.1.16 routine dosimeter—dosimeter calibrated against a
ists in an incremental volume within a material under irradia- primary, reference, or transfer–standard dosimeter and used for
tion if the kinetic energies and number of charged particles (of routine absorbed dose measurement.
each type) entering the volume are equal to those leaving that 3.1.17 simulated product—a mass of material with attenu-
volume. ation and scattering properties similar to those of the product, Discussion—When electrons are the predominant material or substance to be irradiated.
charged particle, the term “electron equilibrium” is often used Discussion—Simulated product is used during ir-
to describe charged-particle equilibrium. See also the discus- radiator characterization as a substitute for the actual product,
sions attached to the definitions of kerma and absorbed dose in material or substance to be irradiated. When used in routine
E 170. production runs, it is sometimes referred to as a compensating
3.1.5 dosimeter batch—quantity of dosimeters made from a dummy. When used for absorbed-dose mapping, the simulated
specific mass of material with uniform composition, fabricated product is sometimes referred to as phantom material.
in a single production run under controlled, consistent condi- 3.1.18 dosimeter stock—part of a dosimeter batch held by
tions, and having a unique identification code. the user.
3.1.6 dosimetry system—system used to determine absorbed 3.1.19 transfer–standard dosimeter—dosimeter, often a ref-
dose, consisting of dosimeters, measurement instruments and erence–standard dosimeter, suitable for transport between dif-
their associated reference standards, and procedures for the ferent locations used to compare absorbed dose measurements.
system’s use. 3.1.20 verification—confirmation by examination of objec-
3.1.7 electron equilibrium—charged particle equilibrium tive evidence that specified requirements have been met.
for electrons. Discussion—In the case of measuring equipment,
3.1.8 measurement intercomparison—a process by which
the result of verification leads to a decision to restore to service
an on-site measurement system is evaluated against a measure-
or to perform adjustments, repair, downgrade, or declare
ment of a standard reference device or material that is traceable
obsolete. In all cases it is required that a written trace of the
to a nationally or internationally recognized standard.
verification performed be kept on the instrument’s individual Discussion—In radiation processing, reference stan-
dard or transfer–standard dosimeters are irradiated at one
irradiation facility, and sent to another for analysis. Alterna- 3.2 Definitions of other terms used in this standard that
tively, an issuing laboratory may send dosimeters to an pertain to radiation measurement and dosimetry may be found
irradiation facility. The irradiated dosimeters are then sent back in ASTM Terminology E 170. Definitions in ASTM Terminol-
to the issuing laboratory for analysis. ogy E 170 are compatible with ICRU 60; that document,
3.1.9 measurement quality assurance plan—a documented therefore, may be used as an alternative reference.
program for the measurement process that assures on a
continuing basis that the overall uncertainty meets the require- 4. Significance and Use
ments of the specific application. This plan requires traceability 4.1 Ionizing radiation is used to produce various desired
to, and consistency with, nationally or internationally recog- effects in products. Examples include the sterilization of
nized standards. medical products, processing of food, modification of poly-
3.1.10 measurement traceability—the ability to demonstrate mers, irradiation of electronic devices, and curing of inks,

2 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

coatings, and adhesives (1, 2)5. The absorbed doses employed TABLE 1 Examples of Reference–Standard Dosimeters
in these applications range from about 10 Gy to more than 100 Useful
kGy. Dosimeter Readout System Absorbed
Dose, Gy
4.2 Regulations for sterilization of medical products and
Ionization chamber Electrometer 10−4 to 10 (11,12)
radiation processing of food exist in many countries. These Calorimeter Thermometer 102 to 105 (13)
regulations may require that the response of the dosimetry Alanine EPR spectrometer 1 to 105 (14)
system be calibrated and traceable to national standards (3, 4, Ceric cerous sulfate UV spectrophotometer or 103 to 105 (15,16)
solution electrochemical
5). Adequate dosimetry, with proper statistical controls and potentiometer
documentation, is necessary to ensure that the products are Ethanol chlorobenzene Spectrophotometer, color 10 to 2 3 106 (17, 18)
properly processed. solution titration, high frequency
4.3 Proper dosimetric measurements must be employed to Ferrous sulfate solution UV spectrophotometer 20 to 4 3 102 (19)
ensure that the product receives the desired absorbed dose. The Potassium/silver UV/visible 103 to 105 (20)
dosimeters must be calibrated. Calibration of a routine dosim- dichromate spectrophotometer
etry system can be carried out directly in a national or These references are not exhaustive; others may be found in the literature.
accredited standards laboratory by standardized irradiation of
routine dosimeters. Alternatively, it may be carried out through process monitoring. Discussions about the selection and cali-
the use of a local (in-house) calibration facility (6) or in a bration of routine dosimeters are provided in 6.2 and 8.4,
production irradiator. All possible factors that may affect the respectively. Examples of routine dosimeters are listed in Table
response of dosimeters, including environmental conditions 2; more details of the characteristics of several of these systems
and variations of such conditions within a processing facility, may be found in Annex A4.
should be known and taken into account. The associated 5.1.4 Transfer–Standard Dosimeters—Transfer–standard
analytical instrumentation must also be calibrated. dosimeters are specially selected dosimeters used for transfer-
ring dose information from an accredited or national standards
5. Dosimeter Classes and Applications
laboratory to an irradiation facility in order to establish
5.1 Dosimeters may be divided into four basic classes in traceability for that calibration facility. Transfer–standard do-
accordance with their relative quality and areas of applications simeters should be used under conditions specified by the
as follows: issuing laboratory. They may be either reference–standard
5.1.1 Primary–Standard Dosimeter—Primary–standard do- dosimeters (Table 1) or routine dosimeters (Table 2) that have
simeters are established and maintained by national standards characteristics meeting the requirements of the particular
laboratories for calibration of radiation environments (fields). application. In addition to the references given in Tables 1 and
Primary–standard dosimeters are typically used to calibrate or 2, relevant information on some other types of dosimeters may
intercompare radiation environments in dosimetry calibration be found in ASTM Practice E 668 and in ISO/ASTM Practices
laboratories, and are not normally used as routine dosimeters. 51275 and 51276,.
Discussions about the selection and calibration of primary-
–standard dosimeters are provided in 6.1 and 8.2.1, respec- NOTE 1—None of the reference–standard dosimeters or routine dosim-
eters listed have all of the desirable characteristics given in Section 6 for
tively. The two most commonly used primary–standard dosim-
eters are ionization chambers and calorimeters (for details, see
TABLE 2 Examples of Routine Dosimeters
ICRU Reports 14, 17, 34, and 35).
5.1.2 Reference–Standard Dosimeter—Reference–standard Useful Absorbed Refer-
Dosimeter Readout System
Dose, Gy encesA
dosimeters are used to calibrate radiation environments and to
Alanine EPR spectrometer 1 to 105 (14)
calibrate routine dosimeters. Reference–standard dosimeters Dyed polymethyl- Visible spectrophotometer 102 to 105 (21,22,23)
may also be used in routine dosimetry applications for radia- methacrylate
tion processing where higher quality dosimetry measurements Clear polymethyl- UV spectrophotometer 103 to 105 (21,24)
are desired. Widely used reference dosimeters include the Cellulose acetate Spectrophotometer 104 to 4 3 105 (25)
ferrous sulfate (Fricke) aqueous solution (see ASTM Practice Lithium borate, lithium Thermoluminescence 10−4 to 103 (26)
E 1026) and the alanine-EPR dosimetry system (see ISO/ fluoride reader
Lithium fluoride (optical UV/Visible spectrophoto- 102 to 106 (27)
ASTM Practice 51607). Discussions about the selection and grade) meter
calibration of reference–standard dosimeters are provided in Radiochromic dye films, Visible spectrophotometer 1 to 105 (6,8,28)
6.2 and 8.2.2, respectively. Devices used as primary–standard solutions, optical
wave guide
dosimeters may also be used as reference–standard dosimeters, Ceric cerous sulfate Potentiometer or UV 103 to 105 (15)
in which case they shall be calibrated (see 8.2.2). Examples of solution spectrophotometer
reference dosimeters are listed in Table 1; more details of the Ferrous cupric sulfate UV spectrophotometer 10 to 5 3 10
3 3
characteristics of several systems may be found in Annex A4. Ethanol chlorobenzene Spectophotometer, 10 to 2 3 106 (18)
5.1.3 Routine Dosimeters—Routine dosimeters are used in solution color titration, high-
radiation processing facilities for absorbed dose mapping and frequency conductivity
Amino acids Lyoluminescence 10−5 to 104 (30)
5 MOSFET Voltmeter 1 to 2 3 10 2
The boldface numbers given in parentheses refer to the bibliography at the end
of this guide. These references are not exhaustive; others may be found in the literature.

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 3

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

an “ideal” transfer–standard dosimeter. However, such dosimeters may be and labor required for dosimeter readout and interpretation,
used as transfer–standard dosimeters if the absence of one or more and
desirable characteristics has negligible effect on the response of the Ruggedness of the system (resistance to damage
dosimeter, or if correction factors can be applied to bring the dosimeter’s
response into conformity within the necessary limits of uncertainty for the
during routine handling and use in a processing environment).
application. 6.2.3 Additional Criteria Specific to Transfer Standard Do-
simetry Systems:
6. Selection of Dosimetry Systems Long pre-irradiation shelf life,
6.1 Primary Standard Dosimetry System—The criterion for Post-irradiation response stability (ability to be ar-
the selection of a specific primary–standard dosimeter by a chived), and
national laboratory depends on the specific measurement Portability, that is ability to withstand shipping to an
application requirement. irradiation facility and insensitivity to extremes of environmen-
6.2 Reference Standard, Transfer Standard and Routine tal conditions during transport.
Dosimetry Systems 7. Analytical Instrument Calibration and Performance
6.2.1 General Criteria: Verification Suitability of the dosimeter for the absorbed-dose
range of interest and for use with a specific product, 7.1 Before the overall system is calibrated, and at periodic Stability and reproducibility of the system, intervals between calibrations, the individual component in- Ease of system calibration, struments of the dosimetry system shall be calibrated or shall Ability to control or correct system response for have their performance verified. These periodic checks should
systematic error, such as those caused by temperature and verify the stability of the components of the system, and should
humidity (for example, see Ref (6)), demonstrate that the components are performing as they were Overall initial and operational cost of the system, when the overall system was calibrated.
including dosimeters, readout equipment, and labor, 7.1.1 If appropriate standards exist, calibrate the individual Variance (that is, correlation coefficient) of the instruments in accordance with documented procedures so that
dosimetry system response data within established limits about the instruments’ measurements are traceable to nationally or
a fitted calibration curve over the absorbed-dose range of internationally recognized standards.
interest, For optical absorbance measurements using a spec- Dependence of dosimeter response on environmen- trophotometer, check and document that the wavelength and
tal conditions (such as temperature, humidity, and light) before, absorbance scales are within the documented specifications at
during, and after calibration and production irradiation. Effects or near the analysis wavelength using optical absorbance filters
of environmental conditions on the dosimeter readout equip- and wavelength standards traceable to national or international
ment shall also be considered. standards. Dependence of dosimeter response on absorbed- For thickness measurements using a thickness
dose rate or incremental delivery of absorbed dose, or both, gauge, check and document that the instrument is within Stability of dosimeter response both before and after documented specifications using gauge blocks traceable to
irradiation, national or international standards. Agreement of dosimeter response within a batch 7.1.2 For dosimetry system instruments where nationally or
and between batches, internationally recognized standards do not exist, verify correct Effects of size, location, orientation, and composi- instrument performance using documented industry or manu-
tion of the dosimeter on the radiation field or the interpretation facturer’s procedures to demonstrate that the instrument is
of the absorbed-dose measurement. In cases where it is functioning in accordance with its own performance specifica-
desirable to measure absorbed dose at the interface of different tions.
materials (for example, at a bone-tissue interface or the surface NOTE 3—For example, the alanine dosimetry system employs electron
of a product), dosimeters should be used that are thin compared paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy for analysis. The proper
to distances over which the absorbed-dose gradient is signifi- operation of the EPR spectrometer instrumentation is verified with
appropriate EPR spin standards such as irradiated alanine dosimeters,
cant, and
pitch sample, or Mn(II) in CaO (see ISO/ASTM Practice 51607 for Effects of differences in radiation energy spectra details).
between calibration and product irradiation fields.
7.1.3 Repeat instrument calibration or instrument perfor-
NOTE 2—Availability of adequate information on the performance mance verification at periodic intervals between the overall
characteristics of the dosimetry systems should be considered in selecting system calibrations in accordance with documented proce-
a dosimetry system.
dures, and again if any maintenance or modification of the
6.2.2 Additional Criteria Specific to Routine Dosimetry instrument occurs that may affect its performance.
NOTE 4—For some analytical instrumentation, correct performance can Ease and simplicity of use be demonstrated by showing that the readings of dosimeters given known Availability of dosimeters in reasonably large quan- absorbed doses are in agreement with the expected readings within the
tities limits of the dosimetry system uncertainty. This method is only applicable Time required for dosimeter response development, for reference standard dosimetry systems where the long term stability of

4 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

the response has been demonstrated and documented. minimum dose (Dmin), then, calculate log(base 10) of this ratio: Q =
7.1.4 Instrument calibrations and instrument performance log(Dmax/Dmin). If Q is equal to or greater than 1, calculate the product of
5 3 Q, and round this up to the nearest integer value. This value represents
verifications shall be conducted by qualified individuals in
the minimum number of sets to be used.
accordance with documented quality procedures.
7.1.5 Calibration or performance verification of each instru- 8.3.2 For each absorbed dose point, use the number of
ment shall demonstrate that the measurements are within dosimeters required to achieve the desired confidence level
specified limits over the full range of utilization. (see ASTM Practice E 668).
8.3.3 Position the dosimeters in the calibration radiation
8. Dosimetry System Calibration field in a defined, reproducible location. The variation in
8.1 General: absorbed-dose rate within the volume occupied by the dosim-
8.1.1 The calibration of a dosimetry system consists of the eters should be as low as practically possible.
irradiation of dosimeters to a number of known absorbed doses 8.3.4 When using a gamma-ray source or X-ray beam for
over the range of use, analysis of the dosimeters using calibration, surround the dosimeter with a sufficient amount of
calibrated analytical equipment, and the generation of a cali- material to achieve approximate electron equilibrium condi-
bration curve or response function. Calibration verification is tions (7).
performed periodically to confirm the continued validity of the NOTE 7—The appropriate thickness of such material depends on the
calibration curve or response function. Calibration facilities energy of the radiation (see ASTM Practices E 666 and E 668). For
shall meet the requirements specified in ISO/ASTM Practice measurement of absorbed dose in water, use materials that have radiation-
51400 and therefore shall have an absorbed-dose rate that has absorption properties essentially equivalent to water. For example, for a
measurement traceability to nationally or internationally rec- 60Co source, 3 to 5 mm of solid polystyrene (or equivalent polymeric

ognized standards. material) should surround the dosimeter in all directions.

8.3.5 Monitor and, if required, control the temperature of
NOTE 5—In several countries, the national standard is realized indi-
rectly through a calibrated radiation field. For example, the absorbed-dose
the dosimeters during irradiation.
rate in the center of a 60Co source array at the U.S. National Institute of NOTE 8—To minimize temperature extremes and to aid in the measure-
Standards and Technology (NIST) has been well characterized by calo- ment of dosimeter temperature it is important that there be good thermal
rimetry and is one of the national standards used by NIST to irradiate contact between the dosimeters and a heat sink especially for electron
reference standard, transfer standard, and routine dosimeters to known beam or x-ray irradiation.
absorbed-dose levels.
8.3.6 If the response of the dosimeters is affected by
8.1.2 Procedures, protocols, and training of personnel shall humidity and they are not in a sealed container, monitor, and if
be provided to ensure that the correct absorbed dose is given to required, control the relative humidity during irradiation.
dosimeters. 8.3.7 Specify the calibration dose in terms of the material of
8.2 Calibration of Dosimetry Classes: interest. The calibration dose is usually specified in terms of
8.2.1 Primary–Standard Dosimeters—These devices do not absorbed dose in water. See Annex A1 for conversion factors
require calibration against other standards because their mea- for calculating the absorbed dose in different materials.
surements are based on fundamental physical principles. 8.4 Absorbed Dose Rate Effects:
8.2.2 Reference–Standard Dosimeters—Calibration of ref- 8.4.1 For some routine dosimetry systems, the dosimeter
erence–standard dosimeters is carried out by national or response at different absorbed-dose rates for the same given
accredited laboratories using criteria specified in ISO/ASTM absorbed dose may differ over portions of the system’s
Practice 51400. working range. This divergence may be dependent on several
8.2.3 Transfer–Standard Dosimeters—Transfer–standard factors, such as the magnitude of the absorbed dose and type of
dosimeters may be selected from either reference–standard radiation (gamma, electron beam, or X ray). If the absorbed
dosimeters or routine dosimeters (see 5.1.4). Transfer–standard dose rate effects are not known, divergence tests shall be
dosimeters shall be calibrated by the class distinction require- performed. In these tests, other factors that could influence
ments of the dosimeter type selected for dose measurement dosimeter response, for example irradiation temperature,
intercomparison transfer (see 8.2.2 and 8.2.4). should be either fixed or kept within a narrow range. The
8.2.4 Routine Dosimeters—Calibration of routine dosim- divergence may be checked by several methods. Two such
eters is performed by irradiation of the dosimeters in a methods are described in Annex A5.
calibration facility or in a production irradiator followed by 8.5 Transit Dose Effects:
analysis at the production irradiator. 8.5.1 Transit dose effects occur when the timing of a
8.3 Calibration Procedure: calibration irradiation does not take into account the dose
8.3.1 The number of sets of dosimeters required to deter- received during the movement of the dosimeters or the source
mine the calibration curve or response function of the dosim- into and out of the irradiation position. For example, the timer
etry system depends on the absorbed-dose range of utilization. on a Gammacell-type irradiator does not start until the sample
Use at least five sets for each factor of ten span of absorbed drawer reaches the fully-down (irradiate) position. Some dose
dose, or at least four sets if the range of utilization is less than is received as the drawer goes down and after the irradiation as
a factor of ten. the drawer goes up that is not accounted for in the timer setting.
NOTE 6—To determine mathematically the minimum number of sets to This transit dose can be significant for low-dose irradiations
be used, divide the maximum dose in the range of utilization (Dmax) by the and should be determined experimentally and taken into

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 5

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

account when calculating timer settings. Two methods of tions in a production irradiator may introduce uncertainties that
determining transit dose correction are given in Annex A2. are difficult to quantify. Transporting of the dosimeters to and
8.6 Frequency of Calibration and Verification: from the calibration facility may also introduce uncertainties
8.6.1 Calibrate the dosimetry system for each new batch of from pre- and post-irradiation storage effects.
reference standard, transfer standard, or routine dosimeters Irradiate routine dosimeters to known absorbed
prior to use. doses in a calibration facility.
8.6.2 At an interval not exceeding one year, re-calibrate the Specify to the calibration facility that the irradiation
dosimetry system for each batch of reference standard, transfer conditions should be as similar as possible to those in the actual
standard, or routine dosimeters unless the dosimetry system is production irradiator. These conditions, including the energy
more frequently validated by measurement intercomparison. spectrum, absorbed-dose rate, and irradiation temperature,
This re-calibration shall include the analytical instrumentation should be as close as practical to those encountered during
(see Section 7). Depending on seasonal variations in ambient routine use. The variation of these conditions should be
conditions (for example, temperature and relative humidity) documented and incorporated into the uncertainty analysis.
the interval between re-calibrations may be decreased (see
NOTE 11—The temperature and absorbed dose rate experienced by
Note 4). dosimeters may vary during a production run. However, it is usually not
8.6.3 Verify the calibration of the dosimetry system for each practical to perform the calibration of the dosimeters under the same
new stock of reference standard, transfer standard, and routine varying conditions. To approximate production irradiator conditions, the
dosimeters using at least three absorbed doses over the range of calibration should be performed at a fixed temperature somewhere
application in order to confirm that their responses are the same between the average and the maximum temperatures encountered during
routine production; and, if a calibration facility with the desired dose rate
as for the current stock.
is available, at a fixed dose rate somewhere between the average and the
8.7 Calibration and Dose Measurement Uncertainties: maximum dose rates experienced during routine production. The possible
8.7.1 The uncertainties in the calibration and absorbed dose effects of differences in temperature and dose rate between the calibration
measurement of a dosimetry system depend on the specific facility and production irradiator can be minimized by performing the
dosimetry system employed. Refer to ISO/ASTM Guide 51707 calibration using the method described in 8.8.3.
and the appropriate standard for a given dosimetry system for Adverse environmental conditions (such as high or
uncertainty statements. See 2.1 and Annex A4 for references to low temperature and humidity) during transport of the dosim-
the appropriate dosimetry system standards. eters to and from the calibration facility may affect the
8.8 Irradiation of Dosimeters—The irradiation of routine dosimeter response.
dosimeters may be performed by one of three different meth- Package dosimeters to minimize the effects of envi-
ods. One method (described in 8.8.1) calls for routine dosim- ronmental conditions during transport.
eters to be irradiated in a gamma, electron beam, or X-ray Include maximum temperature indicators in the
(bremsstrahlung) calibration facility. The second method (de- dosimeter package during transport to determine if the calibra-
scribed in 8.8.2) calls for routine dosimeters to be irradiated in tion has been compromised and is therefore invalid.
an in-house calibration facility that has an absorbed-dose rate Confirm that the environmental conditions during
measured by reference or transfer–standard dosimeters. The transport have not changed the response of the dosimeter. This
third method (described in 8.8.3) calls for routine dosimeters to may be achieved by sending a set of dosimeters irradiated to
be irradiated together with reference or transfer–standard known absorbed doses along with the set of dosimeters sent for
dosimeters in the production irradiator. calibration. The readings of the two sets of dosimeters should
NOTE 9—The response of some routine dosimeters may be affected by be compared when they are returned with readings from
the combined effect of several environmental factors such as absorbed additional dosimeters given the same absorbed dose and stored
dose rate, energy spectrum, temperature, or relative humidity (including under controlled conditions.
seasonal variations in temperature or relative humidity). For these cases, Calibration curves for routine dosimetry systems
it may not be possible to take these combined effects into account by
applying a correction factor. Therefore, the calibration of routine dosim-
obtained by irradiating dosimeters in a calibration facility
eters should be performed using irradiation conditions similar to those in irradiator shall be verified for the actual conditions of use in the
the actual production irradiator. production irradiator (see
NOTE 10—The response of reference and transfer–standard dosimeters Calibration verification may be performed by irra-
to environmental effects such as temperature and relative humidity, diating the routine dosimeters together with reference standard
absorbed-dose rate, and energy spectrum, should be documented. Differ- or transfer–standard dosimeters to a minimum of three different
ences in the dosimeter response between calibration and use conditions absorbed doses in the production irradiator. The reference-
should be taken into account using known correction factors.
–standard or transfer–standard dosimeters should be of a
8.8.1 Irradiation Using a Calibration Facility—The cali- different type than the routine dosimeters to reduce the prob-
bration of routine dosimeters using a gamma, electron beam, or ability that both types of dosimeters are influenced by the same
X-ray calibration facility meeting the requirements of ISO/ combined environmental effects. Ensure that the routine and
ASTM Practice 51400 has the advantage that the dosimeters reference standard or transfer dosimeters receive the same
are irradiated to accurately known absorbed doses under absorbed dose (see 8.7 and for guidance). Corrective
well-controlled and documented conditions. However, use of action will be required if the differences in dose readings
these routine dosimeters under different environmental condi- between the routine dosimeters and the reference standard or

6 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

transfer dosimeters are significant in comparison to the accu- or applying a correction factor in cases where a single factor is
racy required for the application. Appropriate corrective action applicable over the entire dose range of interest.
may include: repeating the calibration using more appropriate 8.8.3 Irradiation Using a Production Irradiator—The cali-
environmental conditions, carrying out a full calibration in a bration of routine dosimeters by irradiating the dosimeters
production irradiator (see 8.8.3), or applying a correction factor together with reference or transfer–standard dosimeters in the
in cases where a single factor is applicable over the entire dose production irradiator has the advantage that the environmental
range of interest. conditions are similar to those encountered during routine
8.8.2 Irradiation Using an In-House Calibration Facility— production, reducing the requirement to make corrections to
The calibration of routine dosimeters using an in-house cali- the routine dosimeter response for environmental effects.
bration facility has the advantage that the pre- and post- However, great care must be taken to ensure that the routine
irradiation storage conditions of the dosimeters can be and reference or transfer–standard dosimeters irradiated to-
controlled so that they are similar to those encountered during gether receive the same absorbed dose (8). For some produc-
routine production. However, it may not be possible for the tion irradiators, calibration by this technique may not be
in-house calibration facility to meet all the irradiation require- practical because of limitations in covering the full range of
ments of ISO/ASTM Practice 51400. utilization during irradiator operations. Irradiate routine dosimetry systems to known ab- Calibration of routine dosimeters in the production
sorbed doses in an in-house calibration facility. irradiator using reference or transfer–standard dosimeters pro- The absorbed-dose rate of the in-house calibration vides a calibration curve or response function valid for the
facility shall be demonstrated to be traceable to nationally or actual production irradiation conditions existing during the
internationally recognized standards by direct measurement calibration. This method takes combined environmental factors
intercomparisons or calibrations using transfer–standard do- into account to the extent that the reference or transfer
simeters supplied by a nationally recognized radiation dosim- dosimeter response can be corrected for differences in envi-
etry calibration laboratory. ronmental factors between the calibration facility and produc- Measurement intercomparisons or calibrations of tion irradiator.
absorbed-dose rates of the in-house calibration facility shall be Use reference–standard or transfer–standard dosim-
performed at least once every three years and after any change eters supplied and analyzed by a nationally recognized radia-
in source activity or geometry. tion dosimetry calibration laboratory to demonstrate traceabil- The requirements of are equally applicable to ity to national standards.
an in-house calibration facility. Reference–standard or transfer–standard dosimeters
obtained commercially or prepared in accordance with pub- Calibration of routine dosimeters using an in-house
lished standards and analyzed on site may be used provided
calibration facility reduces the possibility of changes in the
that the reference standard or transfer standard dosimetry
response due to adverse storage conditions during transport of
systems have been calibrated in accordance with 8.2 and 8.3.
dosimeters. After irradiation, the irradiated dosimeters should
be stored under similar conditions to those encountered in the Calibrate routine dosimeters by irradiating them
production irradiator and read at approximately the same time together with reference–standard or transfer–standard dosim-
after irradiation as the dosimeters used in routine production eters under actual production irradiation conditions over the
dosimetry. entire range of normal use. Design a calibration package that minimizes the Calibration curves for routine dosimetry systems
difference between the absorbed doses received by the routine
obtained by irradiating dosimeters using an in-house calibra-
and reference standard or transfer dosimeters. The package
tion facility shall be verified (see for the actual
should hold the two types of dosimeters so that they do not
conditions of use in the production irradiator.
significantly shield each other, that the geometry is appropriate Calibration verification may be performed by irra- for the radiation source employed, and that they are as close
diating the routine dosimeters together with reference standard together as possible. See Figs. 1 and 2 for examples of such
or transfer–standard dosimeters to three different absorbed packages employed for gamma-ray or X-ray sources. See Fig.
doses in the production irradiator. The reference standard or 3 for an example of a package suitable for electron-beam
transfer–standard dosimeters should be of a different type than sources.
the routine dosimeters to reduce the probability that both types
of dosimeters are influenced by the same combined environ- NOTE 12—The absorbed dose variation discussed in can be
mental effects. Ensure that the routine and reference standard determined by irradiating calibration packages containing transfer or
or transfer dosimeters receive the same absorbed dose (see 8.7 reference–standard dosimeters in all dosimeter positions within the
calibration package.
and for guidance). Corrective action will be required if
the differences in dose readings between the routine dosimeters When thick and thin dosimeters are irradiated to-
and the reference standard or transfer dosimeters are significant gether, surround the thin dosimeters by sufficient polymeric
in comparison to the accuracy required for the application. material to ensure that the attenuation characteristics are
Appropriate corrective action may include: repeating the cali- similar and to ensure that the dosimeters receive the same dose.
bration using more appropriate environmental conditions, car- To calibrate dosimeters under conditions similar to
rying out a full calibration in a production irradiator (see 8.8.3), those used for processing, place the calibration packages with

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 7

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

FIG. 1 Example of Calibration Package Allowing Alanine Dosimeters to be Placed on Either Side of Thin Film Routine Dosimeters

FIG. 2 Example of Calibration Package Allowing Reference Standard Ampoules and Routine Dosimeters to be Placed Adjacent to Each

product or simulated product in process loads where the irradiation, analyze dosimeters at approximately the time after
absorbed-dose variation over the area containing dosimeters is irradiation when dosimeters will be analyzed during routine
within specified limits. production. Alternately, the time dependence of the dosimeter
NOTE 13—The absorbed-dose rate, temperature, and energy spectrum response after irradiation can be characterized and a correction
may vary depending on the location of the dosimeter on or in the process factor applied for the time of analysis.
load. These factors may have to be considered when evaluating overall 8.9.4 Document and retain all analysis data.
dosimeter uncertainties during routine use.
8.10 Analysis of Calibration Data: All guidance given in shall be met for 8.10.1 Calculate and document the mean response, k , and
the transport of the reference– or transfer–standard dosimeters. the sample standard deviation (Sn−1) for each set of dosimeters
8.9 Analysis of Dosimeters: at each absorbed-dose value. The sample standard deviation,
8.9.1 Check the performance of the analytical instrumenta-
Sn−1, is calculated from the sample data set of n values as
tion (see 7.1).
8.9.2 Analyze dosimeters using analytical instrumentation
with calibration traceable to national standards.
8.9.3 If the dosimeter response changes with time after Sn21 5 Œ (~ki 2 k̄!2
n21 (1)

8 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

FIG. 3 Example of Calibration Package Allowing Alanine Dosimeters and Thin-Film Dosimeters to be Irradiated at the Same Position on
the Depth-Dose Curve

where: polymer product is specified in terms of absorbed dose in water

ki = ith value of k. because most food or polymer products are nearly water-
8.10.2 Calculate the coefficient of variation, CV, for each equivalent in terms of radiation absorption properties. If the
absorbed dose value as follows: radiation absorption properties of the product differ from those
of water, then interpretation of the absorbed dose in the product
CV 5 3 100~%! (2) may be accomplished by means of cavity theory (see Annex
NOTE 14—In general, if any CV values are greater than a value 9.2 Electron equilibrium conditions may not exist within
prescribed for a specific dosimetry system and application, then a dosimeters placed throughout the product under actual process-
redetermination of the data should be considered, or the stock of
dosimeters should be rejected.
ing conditions. This particularly is the case near interfaces of
different materials, for example, at bone-tissue interfaces or on
8.10.3 Graphically plot dosimeter response versus absorbed the surface of a product package. Absorbed dose measured
dose to obtain the calibration curve, or use a suitable computer under non-equilibrium conditions is sometimes used to monitor
code, or both, to derive the equivalent response function in the absorbed dose within the product using the procedures
mathematical form. Choose an analytical form (for example, described in ISO/ASTM Practices 51204, 51431, and 51702.
linear, polynomial, or exponential) that provides an appropriate
fit to the measured data (see ISO/ASTM Guide 51707). 10. Minimum Documentation Requirements
8.10.4 Examine the resulting calibration curve or response
10.1 Document the dosimetry system selected including the
function for goodness of fit within specified limits.
dosimeter manufacturer, type and batch number, and instru-
8.10.5 Repeat this calibration procedure to the extent nec-
ments used for analysis.
essary if any response value exceeds accepted statistical limits
of the determined curve, and if discarding this value would 10.2 Document the dosimeter calibration data, including
result in there being insufficient data to adequately define the date, reference standard or transfer standard, and description of
curve (see ASTM Practice E 178 for guidance on dealing with the facility used.
outliers). 10.3 Document or reference a description of the radiation
8.10.6 Calibration curves or response functions generated source used in processing, including the type, nominal activity
using one analytical instrument shall not be used with another or beam parameters, and any available information on the
instrument unless it has been demonstrated that the measure- energy spectrum.
ments of the dosimeters’ response agree within specified limits 10.4 Document the irradiation temperature and relative
over the full absorbed dose range. humidity for dosimetry systems whose performance is affected
by these environmental conditions (see 8.8, and Notes 9 and
9. Interpretation of Absorbed Dose in a Product 10).
9.1 Generally, the absorbed dose in an irradiated food or 10.5 Document or reference the method used to convert

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 9

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

dosimetry measurements to absorbed-dose values in water. agreement, and bias is a systematic error (see ASTM Terminologies E 170
10.6 Document the value and the assigned uncertainty of the and E 456 and ASTM Practice E 177). The purpose of using the method
measurements of absorbed dose. of expressing uncertainties as Type A and Type B recommended in the ISO
Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (10) is to promote
10.7 Document or reference the measurement quality assur- an understanding of how uncertainty statements are arrived at and to
ance plan used for the routine dosimetry. provide a basis for the international comparison of measurement results.
NOTE 16—ISO/ASTM Guide 51707 defines possible sources of error in
11. Measurement Uncertainty dosimetry performed in radiation processing facilities and offers proce-
11.1 To be meaningful, a measurement of absorbed dose dures for estimating the resulting magnitude of the uncertainties in the
shall be accompanied by an estimate of uncertainty. Compo- measurement results. Basic concepts of measurement, estimate of the
nents of uncertainty shall be identified as belonging to one of measured value of a quantity, “true” value, error and uncertainty are
defined and discussed. Components of uncertainty are discussed and
two groups: methods are given for evaluating and estimating their values. Their
11.1.1 Those which are evaluated by statistical methods, or contributions to the standard uncertainty in the reported values of
11.1.2 Those which are evaluated by other means. Addi- absorbed dose are considered and methods are given for calculating the
tional information is given in ISO/ASTM Guide 51707 and combined standard uncertainty and an estimate of overall (expanded)
Refs (9 and 10), where these components are referred to as uncertainty.
Type A and Type B, respectively. In reporting uncertainty, other
12. Keywords
classifications such as precision and bias may be useful.
12.1 absorbed dose; calibration facility; dose traceability;
NOTE 15—The identification of Type A and Type B uncertainties are dosimeter; dosimeter selection; dosimeter calibration; dosim-
based on the methodology adopted in 1993 by the International Organi-
zation for Standardization (ISO) for estimating uncertainty. This is
etry system; electron beam; gamma ray; ionizing radiation;
different from the way uncertainty has been traditionally expressed in primary–standard dosimeter; quality assurance; radiation pro-
terms of precision and bias, where precision is a measure of the extent to cessing; reference–standard dosimeter; routine dosimeter;
which replicate measurements made under specified conditions are in transfer–standard dosimeter; ICS 17.240




A1.1 For irradiations using a photon source, the dosimeter TABLE A1.1 Electron Mass Collision Stopping Powers,
may be considered as a cavity (7) in the material interest, and S/r (MeV cm2/g)
the interpretation of absorbed dose in materials is as follows: Electron Air Water Polystyrene Bone LiF
A1.1.1 If the sensitive region of the dosimeter is very thin (MeV)
compared to the range of the highest energy secondary elec- 0.01 19.75 22.56 22.23 19.71 17.96
trons, then most of the energy deposited in the dosimeter and 0.02 11.57 13.17 12.96 11.61 10.55
0.04 6.848 7.777 7.637 6.903 6.252
in the material surrounding it results from secondary electrons 0.06 5.111 5.797 5.688 5.163 4.670
produced outside the dosimeter (that is, in the equilibrium layer 0.08 4.198 4.757 4.666 4.246 3.838
of material). Thus, the absorbed dose in the material, Dm is 0.1 3.633 4.115 4.034 3.678 3.323
0.2 2.470 2.793 2.735 2.507 2.261
given by: 0.4 1.902 2.145 2.101 1.931 1.737
~S/r!m 0.6 1.743 1.956 1.911 1.760 1.583
Dm 5 D (A1.1) 0.8 1.683 1.879 1.832 1.690 1.521
~S/r!d d 1 1.661 1.844 1.794 1.658 1.491
2 1.684 1.825 1.768 1.643 1.474
where: 4 1.790 1.877 1.816 1.697 1.513
(S/r)m and (S/r)d = mass collision stopping power for the 6 1.870 1.919 1.859 1.740 1.547
8 1.931 1.951 1.891 1.773 1.572
surrounding material and dosimeter,
10 1.979 1.976 1.916 1.799 1.592
respectively, and 20 2.134 2.051 1.989 1.874 1.654
Dd = absorbed dose in the dosimeter. 40 2.282 2.120 2.053 1.942 1.711
60 2.347 2.157 2.089 1.978 1.742
A1.1.1.1 Values of mass collision stopping powers are given
in Table A1.1 (see ICRU Report 37).
A1.1.2 If the sensitive region of the dosimeter has a
thickness much greater than the range of the highest energy
secondary elections, then most of the energy deposited in it ~µen /r!m
Dm 5 D (A1.2)
results from the secondary electrons produced within the ~µen /r!d d
dosimeter itself. Thus, the absorbed dose in the material is
given by: where:

10 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

(µen/r)m and (µen/r)d = mass energy-absorption coeffi- A1.1.3, then the absorbed dose in another material of interest,
cients for the material and dosim- m2, irradiated under essentially identical conditions, is given
eter, respectively. by:
A1.1.2.1 Values of mass energy absorption coefficient are ~µen /r!m2
given in Table A1.2 and Refs (1) and (32). Dm2 5 D (A1.3)
~µen /r!m1 m1
A1.1.3 If the sensitive region of the dosimeter has a
thickness between the two limits discussed in A1.1.1 and where:
A1.1.2, then Eq A1.1 and Eq A1.2 may be combined with Dm1 = absorbed dose in material m1,
appropriate weighing factors to reflect the relative contribution Dm2 = absorbed dose in material of interest, m2, and
(µen /r)m = mass energy absorption coefficient for the
of each term (11).
material m.
NOTE A1.1—The collision stopping powers and energy absorption
coefficients are energy dependent; however, for low atomic number NOTE A1.2—For a photon energy spectrum including energies down to
materials and for the energy range considered in this guide (0.1 to 50 50 keV, the ratios of mass energy absorption coefficient in Eq A1.2 and
MeV), the ratios of the stopping powers and energy absorption coefficients A1.3 are essentially equal to unity for most food or polymer materials
do not vary significantly as a function of energy. For these conditions, the compared to water.
difference in the absorbed dose given in Eq A1.1 and Eq A1.2 is usually A1.1.5 A correction for radiation energy dependence may
less than 10 %. Ratios of mass energy absorption coefficients are plotted be necessary in the case of materials having photon absorption
in Fig. A1.1 and Fig. A1.2. Ratios of mass collision stopping powers are
properties greatly different from water (such as bone or metal).
plotted in Fig. A1.3.
If the photon energy spectrum at the point of interest has a
A1.1.4 If the absorbed dose has been determined under significant component below 0.2 MeV and, if the spectrum is
equilibrium conditions in a material, m1 by A1.1.1, A1.1.2, or known, then a more accurate absorbed-dose value can be
obtained by integration of Eq A1.2 or Eq A1.3, or both, over
TABLE A1.2 Photon Mass Energy Absorption Coefficients, µen /r the entire photon energy spectrum (see A1.1.3).
(cm2/g) (32)
Photon Air Water Polystyrene Bone LiF
A1.2 For irradiations using an electron source, the absorbed
Energy dose in the material can be interpreted as follows:
A1.2.1 At any given depth in a material of interest the dose
0.01 4.742 4.944 1.918 26.80 5.733 may be determined with a dosimeter that is thin compared to
0.02 0.5389 0.5503 0.2075 3.601 0.6494
0.04 0.06833 0.06947 0.03264 0.4507 0.07890 the range of the incident electrons. The absorbed dose may be
0.06 0.03041 0.03190 0.02172 0.1400 0.03223 calculated using Eq A1.1. However, all of the following
0.08 0.02407 0.02597 0.02160 0.06896 0.02385 conditions are necessary: (a) the depth in the material shall be
0.1 0.02325 0.02546 0.02296 0.04585 0.02229
0.2 0.02672 0.03192 0.02857 0.03003 0.02484 less than the incident electron range; (b) the ratio of mass
0.4 0.02949 0.03279 0.03175 0.03069 0.02734 collision stopping powers (material/dosimeter) shall be essen-
0.6 0.02953 0.03284 0.03182 0.03052 0.02736 tially constant; and (c) the degraded electrons at a given depth
0.8 0.02882 0.03206 0.03106 0.02973 0.02671
1 0.02789 0.03103 0.03006 0.02875 0.02585 shall have sufficient energy to traverse the dosimeter thickness.
2 0.02345 0.02608 0.02524 0.02421 0.02173 Therefore, for materials considered in this guide, Eq A1.1 is
4 0.01870 0.02066 0.01979 0.01975 0.01733
6 0.01647 0.01806 0.01708 0.01788 0.01528
valid for electron energies down to about 0.05 to 0.1 MeV (33).
8 0.01525 0.01658 0.01550 0.01695 0.01414 NOTE A1.3—For most cases, this method of absorbed-dose interpreta-
10 0.01450 0.01566 0.01448 0.01644 0.01345
20 0.01311 0.01382 0.01232 0.01568 0.01211
tion requires an incident beam energy of at least 0.5 MeV. However,
40 0.01262 0.01298 0.01128 0.01546 0.01154 energies down to 0.1 MeV may be used for surface treatment of products.
60 0.01242 0.01261 0.01086 0.01511 0.01123 Measurements of absorbed dose in a material at such low incident energies
may be difficult to interpret.

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 11

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

FIG. A1.1 Ratios of Mass Energy Absorption Coefficients

FIG. A1.2 Ratios of Mass Energy Absorption Coefficients — Expanded View

12 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

FIG. A1.3 Ratios of Mass Collision Stopping Powers


A2.1 Two methods for the determination of transit dose are calculate the average of the three measurements to get the
as follows: transit dose.
A2.1.1 In the first method, select a series of incremental
irradiation times that start as close to zero as is possible with A2.2 To calculate a corrected timer setting for future
the specific dosimetry system employed. It may be necessary to irradiations, first convert the transit dose into an equivalent
utilize a dosimetry system with a higher sensitivity (lower dose irradiation time (transit time, tt); that is, divide the transit dose
capability such as alanine) than the system normally employed by the current dose rate (Ḋ). Subsequent timer settings can be
for routine use. Use at least five different irradiation times. calculated using the formula:
Analyze the results using linear regression analysis. A graph of DT
the results should look similar to Fig. A2.1. Note that the t5 2 tt (A2.1)

intercept with the Y axis gives the value of the transit dose.
A2.1.2 In the second method, select a high sensitivity where:
dosimeter such as the Fricke. Set the irradiator timer at zero DT = the target dose and t is the timer setting required to
and perform ten irradiation cycles. The dosimeter receives ten achieve that dose.
times the transit dose; hence divide the total dose by ten to
obtain the transit dose. Repeat this process three times, and

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 13

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

FIG. A2.1 Transit Dose Effect


A3.1 This annex lists some of the factors that could A3.2.6 Absorbed dose delivered to dosimeters during cali-
contribute to the uncertainty in the measurement of absorbed bration,
dose for a specific dosimetry system. Because of the diverse A3.2.7 Calibration of radiation source used to irradiate
types of dosimeters covered in this guide and the large number dosimeters during calibration,
of possible applications, no attempt is made to quantify the A3.2.8 Determination of dosimetry system response func-
potential uncertainties for a specific dosimeter type. Not all of tion (calibration curve),
the factors listed are applicable to any specific dosimeter A3.2.9 Dosimetry response dependence on environmental
system, but they illustrate the range of possibilities that may conditions (for example, temperature, humidity, atmosphere),
need to be considered. before, during, and after irradiation,
A3.2.10 Stability of dosimeter response before and after
A3.2 Possible factors that may contribute to the uncertainty irradiation,
in absorbed dose measurements are listed below. These lists are A3.2.11 Dosimeter response dependence on dose rate or
not intended to be exhaustive, but are illustrative of some of the dose fractionation (dose delivered in discrete steps), or both,
more common sources of uncertainties in radiation dosimetry. A3.2.12 Dosimeter response dependence on geometrical
A3.2.1 Variation in response of a group of dosimeters effects (for example, the size and orientation of the dosimeter),
irradiated to the same dose level, A3.2.13 Dosimeter response dependence on differences in
A3.2.2 Variation in thickness of individual dosimeters, energy spectrum between calibration and production radiation
A3.2.3 Dosimeter system analytical instrumentation (for sources,
example, variation in absorbance reading, wavelength setting, A3.2.14 Calibration of dosimetry system analytical equip-
etc.), ment,
A3.2.4 Reproducibility of absorbed dose delivered to do- A3.2.15 Correction for attenuation in equilibrium material
simeters (for example, timing of irradiations, transit dose), surrounding dosimeters, and
A3.2.5 Irradiation source decay correction for given date, A3.2.16 Value of half-life of the source.

14 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)


TABLE A4.3 Cellulose Acetate Dosimeter

NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM
Practice 51650.
Applicable Dose Range: 5 3 103 to 106 Gy.
TABLE A4.1 Alanine/EPR Dosimeter Applicable Dose Rate: 3 3 10−2 to 3 3 107 Gy s−1.
NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM Electron/gamma ray/X-ray. Appropriate corrections factors must be applied
Practice 51607. between electron and gamma ray use.
Physical Characteristics:
Applicable Dose Range: 1 to 105 Gy. Most cellulose acetate films are produced in 8-mm wide rolls especially for
Applicable Dose Rate: <108 Gy s−1. dosimetry.
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray Instrumentation Requirements: UV spectrophotometer (various wavelengths).
Physical Characteristics: Environmental Factors:
This dosimeter is used in the form of tablets, small rods, or rope of 3 to Temperature: Irradiation temperature coefficient approximately +0.5 %
5-mm diameter and various lengths, consisting primarily of a-alanine and (°C)−1.
a small amount paraffin or other binder. Humidity: This dosimeter is sensitive to changes in humidity.
Instrumentation Characteristics: EPR spectrometer. Ambient Light: These dosimeters are not sensitive to ambient light condi-
Environmental Factors: tions.
Temperature: Irradiation temperature coefficient varies with alanine formu-
Humidity: Somewhat sensitive to humidity. May require preconditioning.
Ambient Light: Not generally sensitive to UV light. TABLE A4.4 Ceric Cerous Sulfate Dosimeter

NOTE 1—The solutions may be evaluated by platinum electrodes in

terms of changes in cerous concentration according to millivolt readings
of a potentiometer.
NOTE 2—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/
TABLE A4.2 Calorimetric Dosimetry Systems ASTM Practice 51205.
NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM Applicable Dose Range: 5 3 102 to 105 Gy.
Applicable Dose Rate: <106 Gy s−1
Practice 51631.
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray.
Dose Range: Approximately 102 to 105 Gy. Physical Characteristics:
Applicable Dose Rate: > 10 Gy s−1. The typical dosimeter consists of an aqueous solution of 1.5 3 10−2 mol
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray. dm−3 Ce(SO4)2, Ce2(SO4)3 and 0.4 mol dm−3 H2SO4. The dosimeter is
Physical Characteristics: usually irradiated in sealed 2-mL glass ampoules of 10-mm inner diameter.
Generally designed in cylindrical shapes. The dimensions depend on the Before spectrophotometry, solutions are diluted 50 or 100 times with 0.4
energy of the electron beam, gamma, or X-ray spectrum. mol dm−3 sulfuric acid.
Instrumentation Characteristics: High sensitivity voltage or current meters. Instrumentation Requirements: .
Environmental Factors: UV spectrophotometer (usual wavelength: 320 nm); electrochemical poten-
Temperature: Not applicable. tiometer (see Note 1).
Humidity: Not applicable. Environmental Factors:
Ambient Light: Not applicable. Temperature: Irradiation temperature coefficient varies with Ce3+ ion con-
Humidity: Not applicable.
Ambient Light: These dosimeters are not sensitive to normal ambient light

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 15

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

TABLE A4.5 Potassium/Silver Dichromate Dosimeter TABLE A4.8 Ferrous Sulfate (Fricke) Dosimeter

NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ASTM
Practice 51401. Practice E 1026.
Applicable Dose Range: 2 3 103 to 5 3 104 Gy Applicable Dose Range:
Applicable Dose Rate: Upper limit = 7.5 3 103 Gy s−1 20 to 4 3 102 Gy (upper limit can be extended to 2 3 103 Gy by using
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray. higher concentration of ferrous ions and by solution saturation with oxy-
Physical Characteristics: gen).
Contains 2 3 10−3 mol dm−3 potassium silver dichromate plus 5 3 10−4 Applicable Dose Rate: <106 Gy s−1.
mol dm−3 silver dichromate in 0.1 mol dm–3 perchloric acid. If 5 3 10−4 Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray.
silver dichromate only is used, it can be used for a lower dose range from Physical Characteristics:
2 to 10 kGy. The response of this dosimeter can be enhanced further by It is an aerated aqueous solution of 10−3 mol dm−3 ferrous sulfate, and
adding acetic acid (0.1 mol dm–3) and increasing perchloric acid concen- 0.4 mol dm−3 sulfuric acid. Sodium chloride, 10−3 mol dm−3, is sometimes
tration. Without silver ions, there is a marked dose rate dependence at used to reduce the effect of trace organic impurities, but not in the case of
dose rates greater than 20 Gy s−1. higher dose use.
Instrumentation Requirements: Instrumentation Requirements: UV spectrophotometer (usual wavelength 303
UV spectrophotometer (usual wavelengths: 350 or 440 nm). nm).
Environmental Factors: Environmental Factors:
Temperature: Irradiation Temperature Coefficient −0.2 % (°C)−1 Temperature: Irradiation temperature coefficient is −0.15 % (°C)−1.
Humidity: Not applicable. Humidity: Not applicable.
Ambient Light: These dosimeters are not sensitive to normal ambient light Ambient Light: These dosimeters are not sensitive to normal ambient light
conditions. conditions.

TABLE A4.6 Polymethylmethacrylate Dosimeter TABLE A4.9 Radiochromic Liquid Dosimeter

NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM
Practice 51276. Practice 51540.
Applicable Dose Range: 102 to 105 Gy Applicable Dose Range: 10 to 4 3 104 Gy.
Applicable Dose Rate: 10–2 to 107 Gy s−1 (may need correction for dose rate Applicable Dose Rate: <10−2 to 1012 Gy s−1.
dependence). Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray.
Use: Gamma ray/X ray. Physical Characteristics:
Physical Characteristics: It is an organic or aqueous solutions of leuco (colorless) dyes that become
Polymethylmethacrylate containing certain dyes becomes darker upon ir- intensely colored upon irradiation. Several organic dyes and solvents in a
radiation. wide range of concentrations are applicable. The solution is usually irradi-
Instrumentation Requirements: ated in sealed glass ampoules (1, 2, or 5 mL) or in appropriate glass or
Spectrophotometer (various wavelengths depending on dosimeter type). plastic vials.
Environmental Factors: Instrumentation Requirements: Spectrophotometer (the wavelength for analy-
Temperature: Slight temperature dependence during irradiation and after sis depends on the dye solution).
irradiation. Environmental Factors:
Humidity: This dosimeter is slightly sensitive to changes in humidity, but Temperature: These dosimeters show a negative irradiation temperature
the use of hermetically sealed sachets overcomes this effect. coefficient.
Ambient Light: Some are sensitive to UV light. Humidity: Not applicable.
Ambient Light: These dosimeters should be protected from UV light as
they are sensitive to wavelengths less 370 nm.
(Amber glass ampoules and containers are useful for this purpose.)
TABLE A4.7 Ethanol Chlorobenzene Dosimeter
NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM
Practice 51538. TABLE A4.10 Radiochromic Film Dosimeter
Applicable Dose Range: 10 to 2 3 106 Gy. NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM
Applicable Dose Rate: <106Gy.s−1
Practice 51275.
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray.
Physical Characteristics: Applicable Dose Range: 102 to 105 Gy.
It is an aerated ethanol solution of chlorobenzene and water, sometimes Applicable Dose Rate: <1013 Gy s−1.
with a small amount of acetone and benzene added. The dosimeter am- Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray.
poules are typically 2 to 5 cm3 in volume and useful dose range depends Physical Characteristics:
on concentration of chlorobenzene. These dosimeters consist of leuco (colorless) dyes that become intensely
Instrumentation Requirements: Spectrophotometer, color titration, coulometry, colored upon irradiation. Film thicknesses vary from a few micrometers to
or high-frequency conductivity measurement. about 1 mm.
Environmental Factors: Instrumentation Requirements: VIS/UV spectrophotometer (various wave-
Temperature: Irradiation temperature effect is negligible. lengths).
Humidity: Not applicable. Environmental Factors:
Ambient Light: These dosimeters are not sensitive to normal ambient light Temperature: This dosimeter has a positive irradiation temperature depen-
conditions. dence, depending on film type, and should be protected from temperatures
Humidity: Sensitive to humidity (may be sealed in water-tight plastic enve-
Ambient Light: These dosimeters are sensitive to ambient light conditions,
especially ambient light with wavelengths < 370 nm.

16 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

TABLE A4.11 Radiochromic Optical Waveguide Dosimeter TABLE A4.14 MOSFET Dosimeter

NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see (31)
Practice 51310. Applicable Dose Range: 1 to 2 3 102 Gy
Applicable Dose Range: 10 to 10 Gy. 4 Applicable Dose Rate: <10−2 to 108 Gy s−1
Applicable Dose Rate: 10−3 to 103 Gy s−1 Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray. Physical Characteristics:
Physical Characteristics: It consists of semiconductor chips whose electrical characteristics change
It consists of organic solutions of leuco (colorless) dyes held in flexible permanently upon irradiation. The electrical effect is measured electroni-
plastic tubes that are sealed at both ends by glass or plastic beads or cally and is linear with absorbed dose over the specified range. The do-
small rods. simeter is small and comes in the form of a sealed transistor package with
Instrumentation Characteristics: VIS/UV spectrophotometer. pins to make electrical contact for reading. The dosimeter stores the dose
Environmental Factors: information.
Temperature: Irradiation temperature coefficient is + 0.3 % (°C)−1. Instrumentation Characteristics:
Humidity: Not applicable. The readout instrument is a voltmeter that measures a change in voltage
Ambient Light: Should be protected from UV light; sensitive to wave- on the dosimeter and converts this directly to absorbed dose. A printer is
lengths of < 370 nm. usually used which prints absorbed dose as well as time and date informa-
tion. Operation of reader requires no special skill.
Environmental Factors:
Temperature: Not sensitive
TABLE A4.12 Thermoluminescence Dosimeter (TLD) Humidity: Not sensitive
Ambient Light: Not sensitive
NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see ISO/ASTM Time: Dose value indication may change with time after irradiation.
Practice 51956.
Applicable Dose Range: 10−4 to 103 Gy.
Applicable Dose Rate: 10−2 to 1010 Gy s−1
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray.
Physical Characteristics:
When irradiated crystalline material is subjected to a carefully controlled
heating program, the freed electrons and holes from traps recombine with
the emission of characteristic light. Most commonly employed materials for
TLD are LiF, CaF2, CaSO4, and Li2Bi4O7. The dosimeter is small and the
material is used in the form of powder, pellets, single crystals, or in sealed
glass tubes or bulbs, or suspended in plastics.
Instrumentation Characteristics: Heat cycling TL reader.
Environmental Factors:
Temperature: Not generally sensitive.
Humidity: Not generally sensitive.
Ambient Light: Not generally sensitive.
Time: TLDs generally fade after irradiation; readout time after irradiation
must be controlled.

TABLE A4.13 Ferrous Cupric Sulfate Dosimeter

NOTE—For more information on this dosimetry system, see (1)

Applicable Dose Range: 103 to 3 3 104 Gy
Applicable Dose Rate: < 106 Gy s−1
Use: Electron/gamma ray/X ray
Physical Characteristics:
It consists of 10−3 mol dm−3 ferrous sulfate or ferrous ammonium sulfate
and 10−2 mol dm−3 cupric sulfate to triply distilled water containing 5 3
10−3 mol dm−3 sulfuric acid
Instrumentation Characteristics: UV spectrophotometer (usual wavelength:
303 nm).
Environmental Factors:
Temperature: Irradiation temperature coefficient −0.16 % (°C)−1
Humidity: Not applicable.
Ambient Light: Not sensitive to normal ambient light.

© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 17

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)


A5.1 As appropriate for the intended application, irradiate X-ray production facility to an absorbed dose in the low
dosimeters using gamma, electron beam, or X-ray facilities absorbed-dose portion of the working range of the dosimetry
with absorbed-dose rates that span the range expected in the system. Interpret the absorbed dose using the calibration curve
production facility. Irradiate the dosimeters to the same ab- or response function obtained from dosimeters irradiated at a
sorbed dose at two or more dose rates. Repeat this process for dosimetry calibration facility. Change the production facility
several absorbed doses to the highest absorbed dose of interest. irradiation parameters (for example, conveyor speed, electron
Compare the resultant responses of dosimeters. Divergence of beam current, or dwell time) to increase the absorbed dose.
the response curves provides an indication of the magnitude of Compare the resultant dosimeter response curve to the original
the absorbed-dose rate effect. calibration curve. The resultant response curve may show
NOTE A5.1—This effect may vary for each batch of routine dosimeters. divergence from the calibration curve as the absorbed dose
increases. The resultant response curve can be related to the
A5.2 For dosimetry systems known to have negligible original calibration curve at low absorbed doses to provide
absorbed-dose rate dependence in the low absorbed-dose corrected response at higher absorbed doses.
portion, irradiate the dosimeters in a gamma, electron beam, or


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and Miller, A., Dosimetry for Radiation Processing, Taylor and Francis STI/PUB/671, 1985, pp. 203-220.
Ltd., London, 1989. (13) Miller, A., and Kovacs, A., Calorimetry at Industrial Electron
(2) Josephson, E. S., and Peterson, M. S., Eds., Preservation of Food by Accelerators, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research,
Ionizing Radiation, Vols 1, 2, 3, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1983. B10/11, 1985, pp. 994-997.
(3) McLaughlin, W. L., Standardization of High Dose Measurement of (14) Regulla, D. F., and Deffner, U., Progress in Alanine/ESR Transfer
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(4) United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 179. (15) Matthews, R. W., Aqueous Chemical Dosimetry, International Jour-
(5) “A Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods and Recommended nal of Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 33, 1982, pp. 1159-1170.
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John Wiley, NY, 1986. Parameters Affecting the Radiation Response and Post Irradiation
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18 © ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved

ISO/ASTM 51261:2002(E)

(23) Glover, K. M., King, M., and Watts, M. F., Calibration and Intercom- (29) McLaughlin, W. L., Jarrett, R. D., and Olejnik, T. A., Preservation of
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© ISO/ASTM International 2002 – All rights reserved 19